www.Zune.net/Setup

Announcement: How to Set-up Your New Zune MP3 Player II

It seems a lot of people have been checking out the Zune for the past couple years, and now everyone got a new Zune for Christmas! If you happened to get a Zune instead of an iPod, you will probably need to read the manual to get everything setup. You could go the standard route and head to www.zune.net/setup,or be smart and read our guide right here. (A lot of people were having trouble with the standard zune.net/setup instructions.)

(Beforehand, it would help to have a Zune with a freshly charged battery, a PC, a sync cable, and a Windows Live ID, which could be from a hotmail account.)

Zune Setup Step #1: Download Software.

OK, so you still have to go to www.zune.net/setup to download the latest software that you’ll install on your computer.

Zune Setup Step #2: Install Software.

Now, install the software. Just click the installation icon, accept the license agreement, and it gets going.

Zune Setup Step #3: Connect the Zune.

Here comes the tricky part – getting your Zune connected and configured to work with your computer. Start by connecting your Zune to your PC with the included sync cable (when prompted.) Then sync the Zune with the library on your PC. (Just follow a few simple prompts and click the recommended configuration.)

Zune Setup Step #4: Personalize your Zune.

“Tag” the Zune with your screen name and connect it to your Windows Live account (possibly your “@hotmail.com” email.)

Zune Setup Step #5: Buy stuff.

Once your Zune is synced to your computer with the software, then you can load the Zune store, buy Microsoft points, and download music from Zune Marketplace.

* If you get errors or your system crashes during the install, try uninstalling and starting over. Unfortunately these problems happen too often with Microsoft products…

ZUNE Firmware

According to Microsoft, the most up-to-date firmware version is 4.5 (114) for the Zune HD, which replaces the original player firmware that ships on the device, 4.0 (356). In the case of the Zune 4, 8, 16, 30, 80, and 120 players, the most current player software version is 3.3, which provides compatibility with Zune 4.2. Version 3.3 was primarily a bug fix release and was released on January 26, 2010.

The operating system for the Zune devices is based on the Windows CE kernel for ARM architecture and uses a distribution similar to the Portable Media Center found on the Gigabeat S. Zune’s native file compatible formats are:

  • JPEG for images;
  • WMV (Used by Zune Marketplace)
  • MPEG-4 – supported on all models except the Zune 30 device
  • H.264 – supported on all models except the Zune 30 device
  • Avi video (Xvid) support is included on the Zune HD (firmware versions 4.5 and later).
  • MP3 (used by Zune Marketplace)
  • AAC (unprotected) not AAC (.m4a)
  • WMA Pro (2-channel)
  • WMA Standard (used by Zune Marketplace)
  • WMA lossless

Any formats not compatible with an individual device are automatically transcoded into a compatible format.

The graphical user interface (GUI) (called the “twist interface” by Microsoft) has sections for music, videos, pictures, social, radio, podcasts, marketplace, games and settings. It is said to provide “two-dimensional navigation” for scrolling through items with its directional pad. In the music section, users can add songs to a quick playlist without reconnecting to the desktop software. In the picture section, the background can be customized using any image stored on the device (for viewing) as wallpaper. In the radio section, users can receive and play FM radio internally, with North American, Japanese, and European tuning ranges, and display Radio Data System information (usually artist and song) when available. When artist/song information are available, the device can search for the song in the Zune Marketplace for download or purchase. In the social section, users can broadcast the user’s profile and recent activity to others nearby.

The first updates to the firmware added sharing features (send, community, list nearby Zune users) as described in FCC filings. Firmware 1.1 allowed the device to inherit sharing capabilities described by codename Pyxis. Early firmware releases patched software bugs. About a year later, the much anticipated 2.2 firmware release added support for DVR-MS (Media Center Recorded TV) files, lossless playback, added wireless syncing, and GUI interface improvements.

Zune supports the Windows Media DRM digital rights management system, which is not compatible with other DRM systems and is not part of the PlaysForSure platform or program. Multimedia content is transferred through Media Transfer Protocol (MTP); however, its proprietary MTP extensions (“MTPZ”) place an interoperability barrier between the Zune and previous MTP-based software.

WHAT IS ZUNE?PART IV Zune Accessories

The standard Zune devices come with basic headphones and a proprietary USB data cable. The Zune 30 comes with these items as well as a carrying bag, and the Zune 80 model has upgraded “Zune Premium” headphones. Accessories sold separately include:

  • Charging devices (car adapter, AC wall-socket adapters, external battery)
  • I/O adapters (A/V composite, FM transmitters, headphones, USB data cable)
  • Docks (charging, multimedia large speaker, vertical hands-free assist)
  • Protection (glass screen protection, hardened/cushioning material case protection)
  • Carrying cases (standard issue, armband type, and belt clip)
  • Replacement parts and upgrades (battery, hard drive, LCD, etc.)

Among the firms that make Zune accessories are Microsoft, Altec Lansing, Belkin, Digital Lifestyle Outfitters (DLO), Dual Electronics, Griffin Technology, Harman Kardon, JBL, Integrated Mobile Electronics, Jamo International, Klipsch Audio Technologies, Logitech, Monster Cable Products Inc., Speck, Targus, Kicker and VAF Research.

WHAT IS ZUNE?PART III Zune devices

The first Zune model, the Zune 30, was released in the United States on November 14, 2006, featuring a capacity of 30 gigabytes, FM radio, and a 3 inch screen. The Zune 30 was initially available in black, brown or white. Retail packages contained a pair of basic headphones, a carrying case, USB cord, and a software CD.

The Zune 80 was announced on October 2, 2007, along with the smaller Zune 4 and Zune 8 to compete with Apple’s iPod nano line. These were to be known as the second generation of Zune devices. The Zune 80 featured a 3.2 inch screen, while the Zune 4 and 8 come with an 1.8 inch screen. Both come with a new touchpad-style input device (“squircle”, as fans called it) and new software. Additional file support for H.264 and MPEG-4 formats was also included, whereas the older Zune 30 requires these formats to be transcoded to WMV prior to sync. The ability to sync wirelessly (automatically if connected to a power supply), podcast support, and an upgraded song-sharing licensing are now available on all models. The new software also allows a Zune device to communicate with other Zune devices to share pictures and songs. A free firmware update added the new software features to the original Zune 30, and was released on November 13, 2007. The Zune 80 came bundled with a USB connection cord and premium headphones. The Zune 4 and 8 come with a USB connection cord and basic headphones.

The Zune 30, the original Zune music player, has a 30 GB hard drive, 3 inch screen, and a simple directional pad for menu navigation. The second generation of Zune devices includes the Zune 4, 8, and 80 and. The Zune 4, and 8 are smaller in size and have 4 GB, and 8 GB of flash memory, respectively. The 80 GB Zune acts as a replacement for the Zune 30: it is thinner and lighter than the original. All second generation Zunes have a Zune Pad instead of the original directional pad that was included on the Zune 30. Microsoft released an upgrade for all Zune models, including the Zune 30, to the second generation software/firmware.

On May 26, 2009 Microsoft announced the Zune HD, the first touch screen Zune. The Zune HD has HD Radio and the ability to display video in High Definition through a docking station (sold separately). The screen is multi-touch enabled and uses gestures such as swiping and pinching throughout the player. The device comes with 16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB of flash memory. The screen is OLED, 3.3 inches, and has a 480×272 16:9 resolution. Also included are WiFi, a custom Internet Explorer browser, and an accelerometer.

WHAT IS ZUNE?PART II

Second generation

The second-generation Zune 4, 8, and 80 devices, manufactured by Flextronics, introduced the touch-sensitive Zune Pad, which was shaped like a squircle. The 4 and 8 GB Zune devices use flash memory and are smaller in size than the 80 GB version, which uses a hard drive. The 30 GB Zune was not redesigned, although it received a software update that brought its interface in line with the second generation models. At the same time, the Zune 2.0 software was released for Windows PCs. This version of the software was completely re-written and featured a new user interface.

Third generation

Zune 3/8/12 and Zune 4/8/16 menu system

Zune devices feature games developed using XNA. An early version of XNA Game Studio 3.0, released in May 2008, allowed developers to work on games for Zune devices.

The third-generation Zune 16 and 120 devices were released in September 2008, coinciding with the release of the Zune Software 3.0 update. The only changes to this generation of devices were to the firmware, which was made available for all previous models, and the storage capacity. Included in this firmware update was the ability to tag and later purchase songs heard on FM radio, channels which can be customized to deliver suggested songs for the user, the games Hexic and Texas Hold’ em, support for audiobooks from online stores such as Audible.com and others that support OverDrive media files, a clock, and changed quicklist functionality. The ability to purchase songs from Zune Marketplace on the device while connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi was also introduced. To help push this feature, Microsoft partnered with Wayport to allow Zune devices to access its network of over 10,000 wireless hotspots, including those at McDonald’s restaurants.

Zune Pass customers in the United States could also now download 10 tracks to keep per month in addition to the existing subscription-dependent unlimited music downloads.

 Fourth generation

The fourth-generation Zune device, the Zune HD, was released on September 15, 2009. New features included an OLED capacitative touch screen, HD video out, and HD radio. On the same day, the Zune 4.0 software was released to support the Zune HD. In addition, it became possible for Zune Pass subcribers to stream tracks through a computer’s web browser.Zune 4.0 also supports internet radio streams but this feature is disabled by default and can only be enabled by a third-party patch.This was the first firmware released for the Zune line which did not provide new features for older Zune models. These models were given a firmware update with version 3.2.

Microsoft released Zune 4.5 on April 5, 2010. This update introduced SmartDJ and codec features. A firmware update brought picks and an improved the TV-out experience to the Zune HD.

From Summer 2010, United Airlines started to offer Zune in-flight audio by means of 21 playlists that are very similar to the Zune Channels offered on the Zune Marketplace. Each channel offers up to 3 hours of unique programming ranging from classic rock, contemporary pop, opera, electronica, piano jazz, and others.

Xbox 360

In autumn 2009, movies and TV shows became available through streaming or download through Zune Video Marketplace on Xbox 360. On November 4, 2010, the music portion of the Zune Marketplace was brought to Xbox. This coincided with the launch of the Kinect and Kinect owners can navigate the application menus using hand gestures, without a controller. Users must have a Zune Pass subscription to play music in the application, and only Zune Pass content is available. Locally saved music must still be played through the Xbox’s native media library.

 Windows Phone

Microsoft announced new versions of Zune once in a year prior to 2010. On March 2011, Bloomberg.com published an article claiming that Microsoft would stop introducing new versions of the Zune music and video player. The article has been widely quoted over the internet and by news agencies. However, a Microsoft representative for Zune business development denied this rumor saying that the Windows Phone platform introduction should be considered to be the annual Zune update for 2010.

Zune-branded media playback software is a feature of Windows Phone devices. These phones sync with the Zune software and are compatible with Zune Pass.

All Windows Phone devices include capacitive multi-touch screens, FM radios, Wi-Fi, and certain other features included on the Zune HD. The user interface of the Zune devices, particularly the Zune HD, served as the inspiration for the user interface of Windows Phone. Microsoft refers to the design language of this user interface as Metro.

On October 11, 2010, Microsoft released Zune software v4.7, which supports syncing of Windows Phone devices with a Windows PC.

 Discontinuation of Zune hardware

On October 3, 2011, Microsoft announced the discontinuation of all Zune hardware, encouraging users to transition to Windows Phone. Later, the announcement was removed and a Zune Support Team member tweeted that the page was added to the website in error. Finally, despite previous denials, the original announcement of the Zune hardware’s discontinuation was restored to the Zune Support site.

WHAT IS ZUNE?PART I

Zune is a digital media brand owned by Microsoft which includes a line of portable media players, a digital media player software for Windows machines, a music subscription service known as a ‘Zune Music Pass’, music and video streaming for the Xbox 360 via the Zune Software, music, TV and movie sales, and the media software for Windows Phone. Zune Music Pass is for Music only and as of October, 2011 was reduced to $9.99 (USD) a month for unlimited music rental and music video streaming.

In October 2011, Microsoft announced the discontinuation of all Zune hardware, encouraging users to transition to Windows Phone.

First generation

The first-generation Zune device was created by Microsoft in close cooperation with Toshiba, which took the design of the Gigabeat S and redeveloped it under the name Toshiba 1089 as registered with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) starting in 2006. Xbox 360 overseer J Allard ran the project, codenamed “Argo,” staffed with Xbox and MSN Music Store developers who worked on “Alexandria”, finalized as Zune Marketplace.Both products were later united under the Zune brand name in the U.S. market.

At midnight on December 31, 2008, many first generation Zune 30 models froze. Microsoft stated that the problem was caused by the internal clock driver written by Freescale and the way the device handles a leap year. An intermediate “fix” was to drain the device’s battery and then recharge after 12 noon GMT on January 1, 2009.

The first generation and later Zune devices included a number of social features, including the ability to share songs with other Zune users wirelessly. Songs that had been transferred over wi-fi could then be played three times over three days.